Philmont Scout Trek – Day 3: Base Camp

Day 3 : We arrived in New Mexico after a four bus ride from Colorado Springs. The sights along the way were mostly flat and barren, but there was a serene beauty of it. Arriving at the Philmont Scout Ranch Headquarters was another milestone for the crew. We were finally here and the official journey would begin the next day.

The day we had arrived was the hottest day of the Summer. One of our first sights at base camp was a number crews coming down the mountain back into camp. They were covered in dirt and clearly beat up. We found out that Scouts had to hike water back up the trail to other crews because they had run out and heatstroke/dehydration was setting in. We did not expect to see their struggle, but little did we know, we were staring at our reflections in the coming days.


Unpacking our gear from the bus, we got settled in with our guide Charlie. He explained the process, tips, skills, etc. to us throughout the day. We had to strip down our backpacks and show him what we had planned on bringing on the trail. He would then go from each Scout telling him what to take and leave behind.


There was a large sign near the entrance of the camp reading “Philmont Scout Ranch, Camping Headquarters”. This sign was covered in hiking boots that were thrown over it from Scouts who had finished treks in the past. This struck me because it told me that what we were embarking on was not so different from others in the past. This experience was the same as thousands of others, but would be unique in our way.

I decided to illustrate the sign again in ballpoint pen. The lettering was tedious and the boots were difficult, but I do like my line work throughout the piece, especially the sign itself. Despite the skewed perspective, it does give it a much more rugged look than the sign originally had. This shows it’s age and the amount of Boy Scouts that had seen it like myself.

Next week I will be drawing a scene from our first day out on the trail.

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